Hey everybody! Just a quick hello! I hope you enjoy this! It's just a quick one shot between Eliot and my OC Addison Bowman. I hope you enjoy it!

Disclaimer, I don't own Leverage or its characters.

"Eliot!" Sophie cried out, "Eliot! Wh-Where is she hurt!?"

The tears in his eyes were aggressively blinding him. The aquatic daggers stinging his eyes; she would say that it was due to his lack of frequent tears.

"Dammit!" He growled as he pulled her closer, "Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!"

"Eliot!" Sophie was there now, her hands attempting to move his out of the way, "Eliot move your hands let me look! Eliot!"

"I can't, I . . ." his muscles wouldn't move, they were frozen. The fear and anxiety causing his body to shut down and go into what she would call. . .

"I call it your turtle mode."

"My what?"

"Turtle mode!" She giggled as Eliot wrapped his arms around her waist.

"What in the hell, would make you compare me to a turtle." He whispered into her ear, taking a moment, just one, to breathe in her scent. Coconut. . .

"When you get so scared and your body shuts down. It's like a defense mechanism. It contracts, I guess trying to protect you from the next hit. You," she turned in his arms, and tapped his nose on each of her next words, "Shell. Up."

"I shell up?" he asked pulling her closer, tighter.

"Yes, you do." She giggled again, and went limp in his arms. . .

His memory was tainted by the limp body that currently filled his arms. Everything was shutting down; he wasn't hearing Sophie anymore. The other three had arrived now too. Parker was standing over them, her eyebrows were furrowed and her eyes wide. Hardison was standing behind Eliot, pulling his shoulders backward trying to release Eliot's hold on her.

The only person that had any concept of what to do, was Nate. He squeezed Eliot's forearms just underneath the nerve and vein bundle in his wrist; and he squeezed them hard.

"Alright Nate, I've got her." Sophie pulled her out of Eliot's stiffening arms, laying her flat.

"Hardison, help, she's, there's. . . there's so much blood."

"Oh, oh man. I don't. . ." Hardison knelt next to her and stuttered some more about not being able to handle blood or something.

Parker shoved him out of the way and placed her hands over the wound, "She's bleeding too much. Sophie, we need to get her to a hospital!"

"Alright, here's what we're gonna do. . ." Nate's voice echoed in their ears.

They were all standing around her, staring down at her and giving sideways glances to Eliot, who sat next to her. His right hand had outstretched fingers wrapped around hers. His left was folded across his eyes, attempting and failing to shield the now silent tears that ran down his cheeks.

"I wonder if he can hear us now." Parker asked, "I wonder if he could hear his agonized screams when we came up."

"Parker!" Sophie warned, whispering.

"What?" Parker asked, "they were horrifying. It sounded like he was the one hurt, not her."

Eliot shook, his shoulders convulsing as his sobs increased.

"Alright girl, let's go," Hardison turned Parker around and led her away, "we gon' have a long talk."

Nate placed his hand on Eliot's shoulder and moved away as Sophie held back tears and followed him.

Addison had been with Nate. He couldn't be. So she was.

"I am as good a hitter as anybody except Eliot. . ."

Not wrong. She's not wrong.

Eliot thought back to the hanger, Moreau had wanted to hurt him, for "betraying" him. It was not common knowledge that he and Addison were together. Outside of the crew no one knew. They were careful. Very careful. All their "dates" were indoors, they never did any kind of public display of affection. Only in the offices, her apartment or his. So how Moreau knew, Eliot was uncertain.

She was there, next to Nate. Eliot had run from the door, under the wing of the small twin engine, and made a full sprint. He would have made it, Moreau knew. He pulled the gun out; you've got one shot Moreau! He turned, and at first Eliot thought he was going for the Italian, but at the last moment, he aimed for her, and...

"There is no telling how far back down that road I'm gonna have to go."

She put her hand on his cheek and ran her fingers through his hair, "Baby. . . I'm all yours."

"NO!" He screamed as he turned toward her. Moreau simply laughed, boarded his plane, and left.

The last five feet Eliot slid on the ground. He scooped her up into his arms and pulled her tight.

"Oh, baby, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

She chuckled and patted his chest, "Don't you worry, I'll" she winced and groaned, "I'll be fine."

He tucked her head under his chin and held tight, "I love you. I love you so much."
"El-" she coughed, "Eliot. . ."

"Shhhh, Addy, baby, don't talk. . ."

"I l-love y..."

He heard Sophie screaming at him then, asking him where she was hit. Addison started going limp in his arms, her hand slowly sliding down his chest.

"Dammit!" He growled as he pulled her closer tears stinging his eyes, "Dammit! Dammit! Dammit. . ."

Eliot opened his eyes and moved his hand when the hospital room door opened again. The nurse walked past and began checking Addy's vitals. She turned and looked at him and sighed, "Sir, I am so sorry, but visiting hours are over."

"I'm stayin'." Eliot commanded.

"Sir, I'm sorry. It's hospital policy, I am not allowed to let you stay."

"Lady!" Eliot stood, and got louder than he intended, "I'm stayin'."

"Eliot!" Nate's voice flooded the room, the short emphasis Nate always put on the E in Eliot's name was so precise, it caused him to pause, "You need to come with me."

"Nate! I am not leaving!"

"Eliot! We need to talk about Moreau. She's safe, Hardison is watching. The camera footage is playing on his phone. You need to come and talk with us right now."

Eliot's eyes turned to Addison, whose color was gone, her beautiful blue eyes hidden by her lids, and her golden blonde hair had lost all the luster. His eyes traveled down her whole body, and he almost broke again at seeing how broken she was, "Nurse, I will be back in 15 minutes. Do not try to keep me out. It will not work, and someone will get hurt."

He grabbed his over-shirt off the back of his chair and walked out, following Nate.

They were all waiting down the hall, clustered at the T zone where the halls met. Eliot walked all the way to the other side of them and turned around, making sure that he had visual contact with the door that led to her.

"Eliot." Sophie soothed, rubbing his upper arm, "Sweetie, are you alright?"

He looked at her. His head cocked to the left, giving her a sideways stare. His eyes were bloodshot, and in the corner, a small streak of skin had changed color due to sheer number of tears. His jaw was tighter than Sophie had ever seen it. His hair, normally soft in appearance, was dull, and had begun to frizz after the lack of care. Sophie took note of his clothes, which hadn't been changed in two days. His denim jeans were grungy, still covered in oil and dirt stains from the con with Moreau, their dark blue color stained brown. His blue button up was stained the same. She could see his mouth twitch on the side attempting to smile; but his sadness won, keeping his face pressed and angry.

"No, no Sophie I'm not." He murmured.

"Oh. . ." She pulled him into a hug and held him for a moment. The other three simply looked on, attempting to ignore the gentle shaking that manifested in Eliot's shoulders.

When she released him, Nate took the opportunity to begin, "So. We need to go after Moreau. Specifically, we need to get to San Lorenzo and make sure he doesn't have a chance to cool off."

"What about Addison?" Parker quizzed.

"Well," Nate began, shrugging his shoulders and tossing his head to the left, "unfortunately, she is incapacitated, she'll need to stay behind. We still have Eliot."

"No, you don't."

They all turned to him, staring at him with different expressions. Disbelief, understanding, confusion (which was of course all over Parker's face,) and indignation were all represented.

"I'm not going anywhere Nate." Eliot began again when Nate tried to speak, "I'm not leaving her here alone. If she wakes up there is going to be someone she knows in that room. Period. I'm not leaving her alone."

"You don't have to." Nate chortled tepidly, "Call someone to come sit with her."

"Who Nate?!" Eliot stepped forward, gesturing widely, "Who the hell can I call? I would normally call one of you, but you'll all be going with me! She has no family! She was an orphan! We are her family. . . I" he paused taking a deep breath to calm himself, "I am her family."

He was shaking again. Reminding himself of his carelessness with her was the cause of his quakes, the catalyst. He squeezed his eyes shut, almost hurting himself with the amount of pressure, trying to make himself focus on anything else. But all he could see was her lifeless bloodied body in his hands, permanently staining his soul.

"Now now." Sophie cooed, snapping Eliot back, "there is a way that we can get around that. There can be someone we. . . uh, she knows when she wakes up."

"If." Eliot corrected.

"No, Eliot," Hardison challenged, "Man, she's gon' wake up. She will."

"Who is it?"

"Tara." Sophie offered, opening her hands up toward them, "Addison knows her. Tara can protect her. She'll be fine."

Eliot took a moment to think about it. Tara wasn't that bad. Addison didn't mind her; she appreciated her presence near the end of everything.

"Fine." He conceded, angry.

"Good!" Nate clapped his hands together, "Then I guess that settles everything and we will be heading to San Lorenzo."

They all began to walk towards the exit when Eliot spoke again, "There is something you need to understand before we go."

They stopped and turned, Sophie speaking first, "I'll call Tara on the way if. . ."

"That's not the problem," Eliot's eyes were closed, holding back more tears, "if she doesn't wake up."

"Man, I told you," Hardison began.

"No. If she doesn't wake up. I will be finding someone who wants me dead."

"Eliot." Sophie sighed,

"No, Sophie. I can't, I. . ." another deep breath for control, "I can't live in a world without her. I just can't. She is my foundation, my grounding. Every time I get hit so hard that I think, 'Man this might be that fight,' I think of her. I see her face, her bright blue eyes." His eyes closed as he imagined her, "Her hair glows like corn silk with the sun on it. Her smile is peaceful and loving. No one, no one has ever looked at me with as much love as her. Never. I can't live in this world, if she's not in it. Sophie, I just. . . I just can't."

"Eliot, that's romantic and all but, what would she say if she could hear you right now?" Sophie pleaded.

"How would you feel if that was Nate? Huh? If Nate was in there and the damn doctor told you that he may never wake up again?! That's what he told me Sophie!"

She stayed stoic as he moved toward her, his grief overwhelming him, "I would do what I could for him, but I would think, 'What would Nate want for me to do?' I know that he wouldn't want me to take that step."

"True." Nate agreed.

"Hardison?" Eliot questioned, "What about you. What if that was Parker?"

Hardison's face relaxed and stretched out, his color a deathly pallor, "Well," he swallowed, "I'd prob'ly blow my brains out. But ch'you know."

Parker looked at him sadly, "I wouldn't want that."

"I'm with Eliot though. I don't think I could manage in a world without you." Hardison responded.

"I'm not asking for your help." Eliot looked to them all, "I'm just telling you to be prepared, because it will happen if she doesn't wake up."

"But," Parker argued.

"But nothin'!" Another deep breath, "This is not up for debate Parker."

"But, what about us?!" Parker yelled, "Are you thinking about us at all? If you do this, we won't have just lost Addy then, we'll have lost you then too! Two members of the family! Two members of the family that I always wanted will just be gone! I'll never see you again! That's not fair Eliot! It's not fair!"

Hardison snaked his arm around Parker's shoulders and pulled her into his embrace. He held her tightly as she began to cry. It didn't last long, and she began to relax and turned back toward Eliot, her eyes red and her skin blotchy.

"Parker," Eliot began, "I care about you, all of you. But she is the portion of me that keeps the darkness at bay. If I stay around after losing her. . ." He shook his head back and forth, "I don't think I will be able to stay the man that she was proud of; the one she loved. I won't be. . . me anymore. That kind of anger, Parker, I won't. . . I won't be able to control it. The only thing keeping it back right now is the hope that she's gonna wake up. Otherwise, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I would be in San Lorenzo, and Moreau would be dead. No questions asked. It hasn't happened because. . ."

"Just promise me, that, given the choice, or given that there is a choice that you choose not to. The man I love, the man you have become, doesn't make that choice that lightly. . ."

"Because of what?" Parker prompted.

"Because, Addy. . . Addison made me promise. That given the choice, I wouldn't choose that. If I have a choice, then I'm not going to choose that."

"But man, even if she dies you still made that promise. You still have a choice." Hardison was befuddled by Eliot's thinking.

"No, Hardison. I don't. If she's gone. There is only one choice. Only one. But I don't want to argue about this anymore. If we're gonna go, let's go. Otherwise, I'm going back in there."

"Let's go." Nate urged, taking the reins.

24 Hours Later

"You look like crap."

When Addison's eyes had begun to flutter, a familiar voice filled her ears. She immediately slammed them shut and shook her head back and forth.

"Tara?" Addison asked, her eyes still closed.

"You sound like crap too."

At that she flung them open to glare at Tara, who was sitting in a rather uncomfortable looking chair in front of the window.

"Why are you here?" Addison quizzed, mildly irritated at her unwanted guest.

"Sophie called, something about Eliot being overly protective and not wanting you to wake up in here without having someone you know."

"And he chose you?"

Moving cautiously, Addison attempted to sit up higher on the bed. This, in turn, prompted Tara to lurch forward and offer Addison a hand. Without question, she took it while Tara placed her spare on her friend's back and helped her lean back slowly.

"This is why we work well together." Tara mused, "You pretend you hate me, then let me help when it counts."

"Well, you know I don't hate you. You're just not my favorite."

Tara smirked, "right back at you."

Addison breathed deeply and thought slowly, making sure she didn't miss any detail. Tara sat back in her seat, distracting Addy for a moment.

"What are you trying to remember?"

"The last bit of detail before I lost consciousness." Giving up, Addison opened her eyes and turned her head to Tara, "Where did they go?"
"San Lorenzo. Sophie said they had unfinished business with Moreau."

"Well then."


"So," Addy began again, moving on, "When can I leave?"

"Well, this isn't a prison, technically you can leave whenever you want."

"Then what are we waiting for?"

Addy sat up, slowly at first, then pushed through some pain to finish quickly. She tossed the blankets off herself and began to turn.

"You sure?" Tara was uncertain of the validity of the decision.



"Yes, now help me."

15 minutes later. . .

"Ma'am we highly discourage what you are doing!"

The on-call nurse was frantic. Addison having decided to leave was apparently causing this nurse to go to def con four. She was rummaging around the nurse's station looking for something, attempting to look too busy to deal with Addy.

"I understand, please, hand me the AMA form."

"You understand you will have to fill out an 'Against Medical Advice' form?"

Addison turned slowly to look at Tara, who was desperately trying to not openly laugh at this woman, "Yes. I understand. Would you hand it to me please?"

"Yes ma'am. Just as long as you understand."


Addison signed the form, turned to Tara and nodded her head. They both turned toward the elevators then and left.

Thirty minutes later they were pulling up in front of McRory's Pub below Nate and Addison's apartments. Tara helped Addy up out of the car and then for the trek up the stairs to Addy's apartment on the third floor.

When Tara helped Addison into her bed, she winced, and a cry was unwittingly forced out of her. Tara stopped, and scanned Addy's face for the sign to keep moving. When she nodded, Tara put her into the bed and sat down in the chair in the corner with a book and a blanket. She quietly read as Addison began to drift.

One week later. . .

"Call her please." Eliot rasped, exhausted.

"Eliot. . ." Sophie shook her head and began to argue.

"No Sophie, we've been gone for a week. Addison is either awake, or she's not. Call Tara."

She sighed and shook her head. Pulling out her phone she dialed Tara and waited patiently for her to answer. When she did, Sophie stood, and made her way to the bar at the front of first class.

"Tara, how is she?"

"Oh, she's fine. Can't get her to lay down anymore."

"Oh, thank God." Sophie smiled broadly, "That's great."

"Yeah, and she gave the nurses hell too. That was hilarious."

"Alright, well, we're on our way back. Don't let her die before we get there."

"Will do. See you soon."

"And?" Eliot drew up when Sophie sat back down next to him.

"She's awake. Tara said that she can't get her to lay down anymore."

Eliot turned toward the window as uncontrollably, he began to shake. The pure relief of knowing she was alive pushed through him, and tears began rolling down his face.

When they got back to the pub, Eliot raced up the stairs to Addison's apartment. When he saw Tara, she pointed up the loft stairs and he ran up the flight and into Addy's room.

He stopped abruptly when he saw her sitting on the bed folding laundry. She turned her head toward him, slowly and smiled, "Hey."

He stared at her. Her color was back, she was still pale, but her cheeks had a red tint. Her hair was no longer dull, its shine having returned. He was caught up on one thing though. Her eyes were open. He had missed how deeply blue they were, with flecks of brown around the pupil. He could get lost in them.

He moved toward her and crawled on the bed. He placed both of his hands on the side of her face leaning his forehead against hers. She wrapped her arms around him and sighed. His shoulders started shaking and a tear that ran down his nose landed on her bare thigh.

"Hey," she spoke slowly, "Baby, it's ok. I'm here, I'm fine."

"I thought I lost you." He groaned, and turned his head into the crook of her neck, "You were out for three days before we left. . ." His words were choked off by a sob by the end of his sentence.

"Eliot." She tilted her head forcing him to look at her, "You had me, I knew I was going to be fine. You had me."

He kissed her. Long and slow. He only broke it off when they both needed to breathe.

"I couldn't have lost you. Baby, it would've been the end of me."

"Eliot, first, you didn't. Second, no matter what happens to me. You'll be fine. You have Hardison, and Parker, and Nate and Sophie. They would take care of you. They would make sure that you wouldn't fall off the grid."

"They wouldn't have been able to stop it."

"Break down baby. If it happens. Break down. Fall right into their arms and break down."

"I love you."

"That's your rebuttal?" She laughed and leaned back slowly onto the pillows pulling him with her.

"Just an admission of defeat." He settled into the bed and carefully pulled her close to him, "I can't live without you."

She laughed and thought about arguing with him, telling him that he could, he had, and would be just fine. Then she thought about how she would feel if something happened to him, what would she do? So she relented, and relaxed in his arms.

"I love you too."